About Us

 Sep 9, 2020 -  Shawn Weisfeld

UserGroup.tv was founded in January of 2011 by Shawn Weisfeld, with the mission of providing User Group content online for free.

Founded by Shawn Weisfeld

Shawn is passionate about building awesome applications and websites with .NET technologies and Azure. He is currently a Azure Storage PM for Microsoft based in Austin, TX and founder of http://UserGroup.tv   . Read his full bio   or connect with him on LinkedIn  

Mobile Apps by Mark Wilkinson

Mark develops software in Houston TX with a focus on iOS development and previously on .NET Enterprise development. He has a degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Houston and is passionate about new technologies, design principles and problem solving. He also enjoysold game system modding as well, take a look at some of his work for sale on retrobitz.net . Read his full bio   or connect with him on LinkedIn  

The Rig

So you saw us out recording an event, and are interested in how we record a user group meeting or conference.

Our goal when we do recordings it to capture a high quality recording of the presenter’s computer and the presenters voice. We don’t worry about recording video of the presenter’s face (however that is possible with some additional equipment and a camera operator).

  • Option 1 – Software on the presenter’s computer. This option is the least expensive, however it requires the presenter to run software on their computer. If you choose this option, we recommend using an external microphone to improve the audio quality of the recording. NOTE: if you are a Microsoft MVP you can obtain a free copy of TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio you can email them at Evangelist@Techsmith.com .
  • Option 2 – Hardware that captures the signal from the presenter’s computer on its way to the projector. This allows for zero impact on the presentation, however it is not cheap. This is the option we choose. I have been through a number of versions of “the rig” and this is what I am using today.

The core is a Epiphan Pearl   . I am currently using the original Pearl. I like this unit because it has VGA, HDMI and SDI in, allowing for a simple connection from all types of presenter’s computers. The original pearl also has a display port out so with a simple dongle you get HDMI and VGA out also, allowing for an easy connection to most projectors. The Pearl will also allow you to scale the recording to ensure that regardless of what resolution the presenter sends you have the right resolution for your projectors. This takes care of the video portion.

For audio I use a FiFine wireless lav microphone or a Zoom H1 Portable Recorder.

You will also need a few cables. Of course an HDMI and VGA cable (the Pearl actually comes with a set).

I also purchased a wireless repeater/router/ap. To manage the advanced features of the Pearl there is a wired network adapter, I wire this into the wireless so that I can connect via wifi. Having the multi-mode wifi device I can stich multiple rigs together so that they are all on the same wifi network, allowing for easier management during a larger event.

You will also need power. I like traveling with a typical household power strip and a 6-foot extension cord.

For venues that don’t have a table for me to put the Pearl on I have purchased a small portable table, to keep my investment off of the floor.

NOTE: If you want to capture the presenters face Epiphan sells a pan/tilt/zoom camera   designed to connect to the pearl for this task.